Thursday, June 3, 2010






Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Russian Revolution

The revolution of 1905.

- Until1900s, Russia was successful in the international arena, against the Ottoman Empire.

- Both Russia and Britain had increased their influence in Persia and Afganistan.

- This expansion was not supported by military power.

- Russian expansion into China. Russo-japanese war. Japan won and moved into Korea.

- The unexpected defeat unleashed massive protests. A peaceful demonstration was masscred on the Tsar’s order, 100 victims, Bloodly Sunday. Russians lost their trust to the Tsar.

- He had to change course and open the duma (assembly), where representation was not equal though. A vote of an aristrocrat was equal with several votes of peasanst

-Actuallys, some reforms were introduced for them. Greater freedom from redemption payments. The intention was to introdude capitalist development in to agricultura production.

- Workers rights were not respected thoug and even the duma was gradually marginalised.

First World War

- Success depended on leaders’ ability to maintain social and political cooperation. Tsar Nikolas II’s authority had been shaky for many years, after the October revolution of 1905

- From the beginning of the war he insisted in personally commanding the troops.

- Although, Russian army was the largest in Europe, it was porly trained and equipped.

- By 1915, Russia produced enough food, clothing, amunition, but the tsarist governemnt tried to direct all provisioning itself. Demoralized, the peasants soldiers started to dessert an masse, returning to their farms to guard their families’ holdings.

- The first revolt started in Petrograd, (St Petersburg) on International woman’s day, February 23, people marched for food, fuel and political reform. Troops joined them.

- Nicoals abdicated the throne on March 2.

- After the collapse of the monarch two political centers emerged.

- a) the provisional government, by leaders in the Duma, constitutional rule, civic liberties.

- b) The soviets, local councils elected by workers and soldiers. The soviets forced for social reform, redistribution of lands, and a settlement with Germany and Austria.

- Bolsheviks, wing of the social democratic movement. They had little to do with the events of February 1917. They managed though to become powerful and overthrow the government.

- Marxism had been quite weak in late -19th c. Russia. In 1903, the leadership of Social Democrats split into Bolsheviks (the majority) favoring a centralized party of revolutionaries. The Mensheviks (minority) wanted to move towards socialism gradually. Since 80% was peasantry they thought proletarian revolution was premature.

- Bolsheviks were lead by Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov, Lenin, of middle class origin, believed that the development of russian capitaism made revolution possible.

- Bolsheviks combineed traditional revolutionary zeal with western marxism.

- Theie calls for ‘Peace, Land, and Bread now’ and ‘all powers to the soviets’ won support.

- They organised an attack, on October 24-25 1917. They took over the winter palace, the seat of the government. Bloodless and quick. Life went on as normal.

- They moved though against any political opposition an even dismisse the Assembly,

- In the countryside, the new regime build upn an ongoing uprising. The bolsheviks approved spontaneous redistribution of land without compensation, they nationalised banks.

- They pulled out of the war. Brest-Litovsk March 1918. They surrended many territories.

- Withdwaing from the war plunged the country to a vicious civil war.


a)the Allies were affected since the Germans won the war at the Eastern front
b)the conservative governments were affected, worried about a wave of revolution
c)the expectations of many socialists were now fulfilled.
d)Russian revolution similar to French revolution.

The Great war

Preparation for the war

- The fear of Germany. Triple Entente: France-Britain-Russia, Central Powers: Germany-Austria-Hungary.

- Rivalry and empire-building, possession of colonies.

- Costly armed race, navy building, preemptive strike became an option.

- Foreign policy was tied to domestic tensions.

- Business and the political elites sought successes in order to distress their subjects at home.

The outbreak of the war

- Balkans became the focus, Russia sought to back Serbia against Austro-Hungary.

- Gavrilo Princip assassinates Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

- Incapable diplomacy and a widespread sense of resignation to the eventual outbreak of war.

- Germans did not manage to overwhelm the French and the British and in Marne river the stage was set for three years of bloody stalemate. A whole generation was lost

- Machine guns, devastating artillery, barbed-wire barriers, poison gas favored the defense.

- The lack of strategic ingenuity among the commanders.

- Russian army was dominated by the dynasty and aristocracy, their weaknesses became apparent, which led to their defeat. Mutinies and peasant revolts.

- Italians entered the war in 1915 but were unsuccessful against A-H, collapsed in 1917.

The home fronts

- Soldiers at the fronts frustrated at political leaders but also the patriotic zeal of civilians.

- Parliamets were bypassed, especially in Germany. Censhorsip. Propaganda departments. The British and American public were bombarded with stories of German attrocities.

- The extent of the involvement of the civilian population and the power of the governments to mobilize men and women and control information made this the first total war.

- Impact of the war. The power of social organization increased, trade unions were broadly recognized as supporting mechanism of the civilian population.

- Apart from the Russian revolution, in Germany labor agitation led almost to revolution.

- Women’s participation in the labor force increased significantly and enhanced emancipation.

The war outside Europe

-The colonial powers mobilized their colonies. The war spread in the Middle East and Africa even up to China. In 1917, the US entered the war. Japan joined on the side of the Entente.

- British dominion troops were vital, non-European Muslim or Indian soldiers were deployed especially by the French as labor force as well.

- The Ottoman enters the war, failures in the Russian front, the Armenian massacres.

-The war made the US, that had built a pacific Empire a major global power.

- Fresh American troops jumped in and Germany agreed to an armistice in November 11, 1918. German public opinion was schcked as they were ill-informed about the war and considered the armistice a socialist and jewish betrayal

The resulf of the war

- 10 million deaths. Huge cost. Fertile lands destroyed. Dislocation of economies.

- The Entente leaders, especially George Clemanceau, whish to maximize their gains against Germany. Lloyd George tried to mediate fearing a revengeful Germany.

- The 14 points of Widrow Wilson, rights of self-determination yet the leaders dropped the demands of the colonized people. Actually British and Fremch expaned their Empires.

-The Peace of Paris became the dictated peace impose without negotiations to Germany.

- A series of new states were born, and the League of Nations to mediate among them.

19th century Russian transformations

- Two aspects of Russian policies: domestic reforms and territorial expansion.

- Starting with Catherine Great, to prevent the impact of the French Revolution.

- Conservative intellectuals supported isolation, serfdom protected the ignorant peasanst.t

- Alexander I, policy of liberalization, which collapsed with the Vienna Congress and the Holy Alliance. Russia was presented as the bastion of sanity in Europe.

- Rupture between those who were fascinated with western progress, political freedom, scientific advance, others turned towards to autochtonism and slavophilia

-1825 Decembrist uprising led to more suppression,

- Territorial expansion: In 1830-31, Russia suppresses a Polish uprising, 1829 Treaty of Adrianople, French and British fear for Russian expansion leads to the Crimean War 1853-56.

- In terms of technology and economy it lagged behind the West, even Prussia and Austria.

- Russian landlords took advantage of western markets for grain, by intensifying labor.

- Russia remained a profoundly agricultural society.

- It became clear that the Crimean war was lost due to industial backwardness,

- The new tsar Alexander II decided to proceed with reforms, abolition of serfdom.

- The purpose was not to imitate the west but to protect russian institutions, such as the landed aristocracy and peasant communities.

- In 1861, serfs received most of the land, nobility, however, remained dominant. The serfs obtained no political rights, they were tied to their villages until they could pay for the land

- Emancipation led to a larger urban labor force. It did not bring larger production, it led to peasant uprisings, substantial population growth.

- A series of laws cutting back traditional punishments, creating local political councils, which gave the middle-class some political experience, however, they had no impact on national policy, dominated by the tsar.

- Recruitment in the army included peasants and promotions was rationalized

- Literacy increased, a new market for popular readings,women’s conditions improved, some achieved higher education, family relations and morality became less strict.

- Industrialization through state support,

- Railroad network, transiberian railroad, end of the 1880s, expansion of metallurgy and coal sector. It also increased the export of grain to the west, more currency, active role in Asia.

- Modern factories appeared and an urban working class appeared.

- Count Sergei Witte minister of finance,in the 1890s, introduced high tarifs to protect industry, improved banking system and encouraged foreign investment.

- The power of Russia lay on its size, population, natural resourses.

- It remained peasant socity, where peasant-soldiers saw their officers as landlords. The absence of a large self-confident middle class.

- Nationalism: the reforms and mobility instigated minorities to make their own demands.

- Social protests were more frequent due to peasants redemption payments and taxes.

- Russian intellectuals opted for social reform while maintaining cultural particularity.

- Intellectuals claimed revolutionary changes. Narodnic, populist movement. Two attitudes. A more moderate and a more radical. Many turned anarchists. Bakunin.

- This triggered supression, censorship, and arrests. Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

- His successors Alexander III, Nicolas II opposed further political reform.

- They also refused any rights to nationalities. Jews were persecuted and many migrated.

- In the 1890s radical ideologies gained new momentum. Marxism. Vladimir İlyich Ulyanov, Bolsheviks capitalised on the working-class unrest in the cities and peasant revolts.

Old Empires, the Struggle for Survival

- Empire: The rule or control, direct or indirect, political and economic, of one state or people over similar groups. This rule is associated with the concepts of peace, law and order.

- Obedience and taxes in return for security.

- Romanov, Habsburg, Ottoman Empires. Dynastic, classical,continental.

- Agrarian economies under autocratic rule. Army, bureaucracy, the royal court.

- Belated industrial development. State domination over nascent bourgeoisie

- Appropriation of western technology. Initiators of modernization.

- Legitimation: Imperial heritage, their territories were already under older imperial rule. (Holy Roman, Mongol, Byzantine Empire). Tracing their genealogies back to Rome.

- Universal monarchies, avoiding ethnic identification or single nationality.

- Continental location, less diverse in developement than colonial empires.

- Elements of conflict: Extensive ethnic intermixture in the imperial centers. Turbulent frontier, instability on their frontier pulled them into expansion. Defenders of Christianity/Islam. Not systematic conversion activity though. Frequent warfare among one another. Struggle against Western imperialism. Struggle against democracy & nationalism.

- ‘Prison-houses of nations’. Reforms, standardization, centralization.

- Collective sense of identity, integration. Loyalty to the dynasty, imperial ambitions.

- The double-headed eagle, East and West. Domestic imperial projects as a response to western imperialism.

- Cultural rights of ethnic communities. The idea of progress, development.

- Top-down innovations,through authority. Fast forward modernization.

- French revolution and Napoleonic invasions brought the reforms to a halt.

- Peter the Great (1682-1725), centralizing and westernizing attempts.

- Catherine II (the Great) (r. 1762-1796), economic and legal reforms.

- Maria Theresa (r. 1740-1780), centralized bureaucracy, secularized state.

- Joseph II (r. 1780-1790), further secularization of the state, German as official language.

- Napoleon’s defeat, return to conservatism. Response to revolutionary ideas.

- 1815 Congress of Vienna. The Austrian Klemens Wenzel von Metternich (1773 – 1859).

- Redrawing the continent's political map. Suppressing all nationality problems.

- 1848 uprisings. End of conservative stability in Europe. Social and political motivations. Newspapers, dissemination of ideas. Barricades, the bastions of resistance. Martyrs of nation and democracy. 3-color-flags (after French revolution).

- It resulted to domination of ethnic nationalism and intolerance between ethnic groups.

- Conservative-counter revolution prevailed. Constitutions remained.

- The Habsburg abolished serfdom, introduced new sort of neo-absolutism.

- The rulers opted for popular support. In 1867, the Ausgleich led to Austria-Hungary as a Dual Monarchy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Anti-colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia

1700s - East India Company, defeating French and Dutch in Bengal

1765 - control of Bengal, EIC becomes an Indian Lord, with an army and government

The British parliament gained the power to control Company policies 1773 and 1784

1857 Rebellion / MUTINY, sepoys of the Company army

1858 India becomes part of the British Commonwealth, viceroy is head of the Indian state

1885 resentment against British rule,

INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS: a platform for reform where all peoples of South Asia including the British are members


1906 All India Muslim League, joining forces with the National Congress

1909 reforms: Indian member in viceroy’s council & Indian provincial representatives

1915 WWI India also at war with Germany


•Swaraj : Complete freedom (1919)

•Satyagraha : Non-cooperation movement based on non-violence (ahimsa), 1920-22

•Civil Disobedience Movement Quit India Movement 1930

•Salt March & homespun cotton: economic self-sufficiency

•1931 Gandhi & British agreement

•1937 The India Act: a political compromise with institutions of self-government: a two chambered legislative body but cabinet under British control


•Jinnah, a Congress leader

•1934 Jinnah leads the Muslim League, declaring that the Indian National Congress does not represent Muslims

•The idea of Pakistan : land of the pure in Urdu


•India again at war against Germany, promised independence after the war

•1946 negotiations as Britain agrees to independence if Indians find a solution

•1947 partition of Pakistan and India


Reform as Resistance: Meiji Modernity and

Tokugawa Period (1602-1868)
Capital: Edo (Today’s Tokyo)
Shôgun - Supreme General
Tennô -Emperor
Daimyô -Feudal Lords
Sakoku (country in chain)

1844 – the Dutch (the only Western ally of the Japanese since the establishment of the Tokugawa Bakufu, as will be recalled) advised the Japanese that they should open up their markets in order not to face the terrible fate of the Chinese. They asked them to stop their isolationist policy – sakoku.
1853 – Arrival of Commodore Perry from the USA.
1857 – Commodore Perry is granted to have an audience with the Shogun.
1858- Treaty of Amity and Commerce (US and Japan)

-exchange of diplomatic agents
-Edo, Kobe, Nagasaki, Niigata and Yokohamas opening to foreign trade as ports
ability of United States citizens to live and trade in those ports
-a system of extraterritoriality that provided for the subjugation of foreign residents to the laws of their own consular courts instead of the Japanese law system
-fixed low import-export duties, subject to international control
Similar unequal treaties were signed with Britain, France, Russia and Holland
1868 – Meiji Restoration
End of the Tokugawa shogunate, restoration of the empire.
The era of Westernization and heavy industrialization.
1895 – Sino-Japanese war. A very humiliating defeat of China, and a major success for Japan. Treaty of Shimonoseki is signed in the end. The imdemnity paid by China to Japan was used as a subsidy for further Japanese industrialization.
1904-1905 – Russo-Japanese War. Japan defeated Russia and proved that it has become a world-power.